Prof. Jessica Penner | OL05 | Fall 2020

Mamadou Diallo, The Wife’s Story Critique


Creative Writing

Formal Critique

Reviewer’s Name:  Mamadou Diallo

Title of Piece:    The Wife’s Story                Author’s Name: Ursula K. Leguin


I loved the plot of the story. I actually had the wrong image of the husband until the wife described what he turned into and I thought it was genius.

Why did the author choose to write the story out in this way?


The only real characters we get a good description of are the husband and wife and the author did a good job of describing them. The husband’s peaceful nature was clear through the wife’s description and the wife’s caring nature was clear through her actions.

Were there any other characters of importance that weren’t mentioned?

Setting & Context

The story takes places in the woods and just like the plot, this wasn’t clear to me until a bit further in but this is in fact a good thing to me. The author did a good job of humanizing the experience of the story at the start. 

What part of the world did the story take place in?

Voice & Style

The narrator of the story carries a very calm and straightforward voice. She gave us a clear understanding of her view of the story and her inability to understand fully what was happening at first and her reactions to the changes emphasized her peaceful personality.

Point of View

Why was the story told from first person instead of third person?


  1. Mohammed Hashim

    Hello Mamadou, I enjoyed reading your critique on “The Wife’s Story”. I liked what you said under characters, that the husband is a nice person just like the wife also that the wife is really caring for her family. The author describes the husband and herself through her actions in the story. They were both family people throughout the story.

  2. Robert Rampersaud

    Good evening Mamadou,
    I agree that the husband and wife was described in great detailed by the author. However, the author did a better job of describing the husband because he was looked at from the wife’s prospective. We also knew the husband was always a family person as he spends time with his mother, and now his wife and daughter.

  3. Angelica Salazar

    Hi Mamadou, I enjoyed reading your critique. I agree with you the story was a bit confusing when I first read it but after the second read I caught the main plot of the story. I also agree that the author did a good job humanizing the characters by they way she wrote the story and how she used the wife to describe her husband in the beginning of the story.

  4. Dylan

    Hey Mamadou, I agree with the author doing a great job at humanizing the story and characters at the start. The way she talked about her family moving out, her bond with her sister, the way her husband led the community singing – it made everything seem so normal. Simple. The one thing that stood out to me was when she described her husband coming back from hunting with not so much as a field mouse. It’s just not something I think people would bring back from a hunt.

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